Because of the numerous islands in the country, the main internal transport linkages are by sea and air. The islands are served by a number of government and private passenger and cargo ships, although they do not usually run on a schedule and are not much cheaper than flying. International sea linkages are well served by shipping lines from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. However, because Vanuatu is a flag of convenience registry, there were 78 vessels (some very large) from 15 different countries registered in Vanuatu in 1998. Most of these are not seen in Vanuatu waters.
Internal air services are provided by the government-owned Vanair, which flies to 29 destinations within the country. International air services link neighboring Pacific states including Fiji, New Caledonia, and Solomon Islands and most longer distance air linkages are routed through Brisbane, Australia, and Nadi, Fiji. The national airline Air Vanuatu flies to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, and Nadi. Within the country there are 32 airports, 2 of which have paved runways, but nearly all international traffic is channeled through Port Vila.
Electricity is mainly concentrated in the towns and is generated exclusively using imported fuels. Similarly, telephone services are mainly available in towns, and communication with rural areas is generally by 2-way radio or radio bulletins on the government-owned radio station.